Duckett’s Career Day Guides Spartans to 74-67 Win over Mount St. Joseph

Duckett’s Career Day Guides Spartans to 74-67 Win over Mount St. Joseph

Case Western Reserve University senior forward T.J. Duckett scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Spartans to their first win of the season, a 74-67 triumph over host Mount Saint Joseph University at the Tip-Off Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Spartans moved to 1-3 on the year, while Mount Saint Joseph dropped to 1-3 with the loss.

Duckett made 14-of-20 shots from the floor in the game and added a six-of-nine performance from the free throw line, while collecting 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.  His 32 points surpassed his previous career high of 25 points, set against Chicago last season.  Through four games this season, he is averaging 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds.

Playing close to his hometown, sophomore guard Sam Hansen added 17 points and four rebounds in the game, and sophomore forward Michael Hollis came off the bench to score five points, and added a team-high five assists with six rebounds.

The Spartans were paced by Duckett and Hansen in the first half, with the duo combining for 29 of the team's 39 points during the period.  After starting slow, the Spartans fell behind by 13, 33-20, with 7:35 to play in the first half, before Hansen heated up, scoring all 12 of his first-half points in the final six minutes of the frame.  The Spartans pulled within a point in the final minute, cutting the Lions' lead to 40-39 after a steal by Hollis led to a lay-in by freshman guard Antonio Ionadi with 21 seconds remaining, before a jumper at the buzzer by Mount Saint Joseph's Jordan Henry gave the Lions a 42-39 lead at the half.

Case Western Reserve shot a blazing 59.3% (16-of-27) from the floor in the first half, including 55.6% (five-for-nine) from three point range.  Duckett led the way with 17 first half points to go along with five rebounds, hitting eight of his 11 shots, with Hansen knocking down four-of-five shots overall, including three-of-four from long range.

After Mount Saint Joseph struck for the first basketball of the second half, three-straight layups by Duckett gave the Spartans their first lead since the opening minutes of the game, and a three-pointer by Hollis with 14:54 to play put CWRU in front 48-44.  A 14-3 run by Case Western Reserve later in the period allowed the Spartans to expand their lead to a game-high 13, 68-55, with 4:18 to play.

The Lions would make a late run, cutting the Spartans' lead down to six points with 1:30 to play, before Duckett converted an and-one with 1:17 remaining to push the advantage back to 71-62.  Made free throws by sophomore guard Monty Khela and Duckett in the final 10 seconds helped to secure Case Western Reserve's first win of the year.

The Spartans shot 48.3% from the floor (28-of-58) and 40.0% (eight-of-20) from three-point range in the game.  They outrebounded the Lions 40-33, and held a 40-30 advantage in points in the paint.

Adam Goetz and Erik Edwards each scored a team-high 19 points for Mount Saint Joseph.

The Spartans will conclude play at the Tip-Off Tournament against Ohio Northern University on Sunday, November 26th at 3:00 p.m.